Portland Community College | Portland, Oregon

Course Number:
ESR 140
Course Title:
Introduction to Environmental Sustainability
Credit Hours:
Lecture Hours:
Lecture/Lab Hours:
Lab Hours:
Special Fee:

Course Description

Introduces concepts of environmental sustainability and their applications. May include field trips. Prerequisites: WR 115, RD 115 and MTH 20 or equivalent placement test scores. Audit available.

Addendum to Course Description

To clarify the teaching of evolution and its place in the classroom, the Portland Community College Science Departments stand by the following statements about what is science and how the theory of evolution is the major organizing theory in the discipline of the biological sciences.
A. Science is a fundamentally nondogmatic and self-correcting investigatory process. In science, a theory is neither a guess, a dogma, nor a myth. The theories developed through scientific investigation are not decided in advance, but can be and often are modified and revised through observation and experimentation.
B. The theory of evolution meets the criteria of a scientific theory. In contrast, creation "science" is neither self-examining nor investigatory. Creation "science" is not considered a legitimate science, but a form of religious advocacy. This position is established by legal precedence (Webster v. New Lenox School District #122, 917 F. 2d 1004).
Science (ESR) instructors of Portland Community College will teach the theory of evolution not as absolute truth but as the most widely accepted scientific theory on the diversity of life. We, the Environmental Studies and Resources (ESR) Subject Area Curriculum Committee at Portland Community College, therefore stand with such organizations as the National Association of Biology Teachers in opposing the inclusion of pseudo-sciences in our science curricula.

Intended Outcomes for the course

A student will be able to collaboratively and independently:
A. Apply an understanding of environmental sustainability relative to human activity
B. Identify the challenges and limitations of achieving environmental sustainability and applying sustainability to their personal life
C. Use critical thinking skills to address environmental sustainability issues in their personal life
D. Use the scientific method in analyzing problems in environmental sustainability

Course Activities and Design

Lectures, guest lectures, field trips, student projects, no formal labs

Outcome Assessment Strategies

Outcome Assessment Strategies Assessment Tasks:
A. Essay, short answer, and/or multiple choice exams
B. Write-ups of field experiences/journaling
C. Research paper or project on environmental sustainability topic
D. Oral presentations

Course Content (Themes, Concepts, Issues and Skills)

Concepts and Themes:
A. Basic concepts of environmental systems
B. Human impacts and environmental sustainability
C. Technology and environmental sustainability
D. The roles of the media and culture in environmental sustainability
Process Skills (Competency skills):
A. Read and evaluate scientific information
B. Use basic math and statistics appropriately
C. Understand the scientific method
D. Locate and access information
E. Think critically
F. Collaborate with peers -- work effectively in groups
G. Present conclusions logically